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Studying Design in Denmark

If you enjoy creating design with clean lines and great purpose, then consider applying to Denmark for a degree in Design. We’ve rounded up the small nation’s best for design courses in English.
BY Achala Upendran |   11-12-2013
Student Graduation Projects, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design; Photo Credit: Jesper Kenneth Serup
Denmark’s Degree System

Many of Denmark’s schools, including its design institutes, give students the option of doing a two-year Academy Profession degree (AP), then following it up with a one and a half year top-up BA degree. There’s also the three-and-a-half year option. The academic year begins in September and ends in May. Many courses are now taught in English.

The Hands-on Approach

Denmark’s universities take the idea of hands-on learning very seriously. This is a major selling point – as it allows a student to follow on into the work-force much more easily.

Copenhagen School of Design and Technology; Photo credit:

A typical course-week in a Danish university is 10 hours of class-time and 30 hours of preparation time, self-study and project work. Of course, the specifics change based on your course and the institute you are attending.

Danish universities tend to stress close collaboration and interaction between students and teachers. Students are encouraged to get involved in university projects.

Studying Design

You can guess why the hands-on approach would work well for a design student. Denmark’s schools are highly ranked for their design education - a number of them are members of Cumulus, a forum for the exchange of the best information and practices in the design world. Many of Denmark’s schools are young, and hence more receptive to innovative students and faculty members.

Copenhagen School of Design and Technology (KEA)

The school specializes in technology-driven design, with programs in Web Design, Software Development and Architectural Technology and Construction Management. KEA offers its students the opportunity to work closely with the market in the evolution of their products. For example, the BA degree in Jewellery, Technology and Business mandates that assignments and papers be written in collaboration with an established business.

Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID)

Business Insider recognizes CIID as one of the top 25 design schools in the world. This institute focuses on interaction design: the designing of digital products, environments, systems and services for human and animal use. In collaboration with Kolding School of Design, CIID offers a Master’s program in Interaction Design which is open to students from all academic backgrounds.

The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design

The Royal Danish Academy (Copenhagen) has played a role in bringing Danish design to international attention for 135 years. The Academy offers a five year integrated program in Design; with eight different specializations: Visual, Furniture and Spatial, Fashion, Product, Industrial, Game and Interactive, Ceramic and Textile Design. The Academy also has a three-year craft program at the School of Design in Bornholm – which is the place to go if you want to learn to work with glass and ceramics.

Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design; Photo credit:

Kolding School of Design

The Kolding School offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in Design. A degree is granted on the completion of a graduation project, which you can do with other students or with a company. This project is then exhibited at the annual Graduation Exhibition.Kolding offers a Master’s in Interaction with CIID; as well as an MA in Design Management in collaboration with the University of Southern Denmark. This course integrates courses in Design, humanities and the social sciences.



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